Scotland’s property market will continue to perform at a slower pace due to the uncertainty over Brexit before experiencing a boost in 2019, according to a leading estate agent.
Matthew Gray, who heads Gilson Gray Property Services, believes conditions for buyers and sellers will remain as they were in 2018 until a resolution is made over Britain’s place in Europe.
Matthew said: “There’s nothing worse in the market that uncertainty. We saw this when we were going through the Independence vote – people often prefer the status quo until they know what the result is.
“My view is that it’s probably going to be more of the same in 2019. That suggests a slow market and a slow down towards Brexit and then a bounce in the immediate aftermath.
“We also may see a nudge upwards in interest rates during the course of the year. Plus the top end of the market is still struggling to adapt to Scotland’s ‘top end’ Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT) rate.”
Matthew said that Edinburgh will once more remain largely unaffected by the fluctuating conditions; and he predict continued growth in East Lothian’s property market as it benefits from an burst of major new housebuilding and an increase in population.
He said: “Growth in Edinburgh has slowed from 8% to around 6% but the capital continues to operate in a bubble compared to many other areas in the UK, so it should remain safe despite political uncertainty.
“In Edinburgh a cap on number of days that someone can list an AirBnB property is likely to be introduced, probably around 90 days. This, and the increase in second home tax, may mean an influx of properties to the market as AirBnB landlords are dissuaded from renting out property.
“That could be a welcome boost for first time buyers struggling to buy within this important sector of the market.”
“General demand continues to outstrip supply. We have a healthy bank of buyers looking for a broad range of property across the market throughout Edinburgh and East Lothian”
Matthew says with the uncertainty, it’s essential more than ever that people take their time in choosing the right agent, who should have an appropriate level of expertise and experience and be prepared to give advice on ensuring the property is ‘market fit’.
This may involve upgrading kitchens and bathrooms or purely a consmetic ‘make over’. Either way, capitalising on the January sales when replacing a kitchen etc at this stage will increase the saleability of any property in the future.